The city of Bologna offers free Italian classes to foreigners with a valid permesso di soggiorno (a temporary residency permit for stays in Italy longer than 3 months). Participants are required to take a placement test and most courses meet twice a week. Depending on the teacher, you may be asked to purchase course materials. These courses are also available for intermediate and advanced speakers.
For a list of free Italian courses for foreign residents in Bologna, see: www.italiano.cittametropolitana.bo.it
Scioglilingua (Tongue Twister) is a free one-to-one conversation session with a native speaker, offered every week by Biblioteca Salaborsa. For more information and booking, call Tel. 051.2194400 (Monday-Friday, 9am-1pm), ask at the library desk or consult the Salaborsa Library website: www.bibliotecasalaborsa.it/eventi
If you are studying on your own, the public library in Piazza Maggiore, Biblioteca Salaborsa, has a huge collection of material on learning languages.
PRIVATE LANGUAGE SCHOOLS
There are numerous private language schools in Bologna. Below are a few well-established private language schools offering Italian for foreigners.
La Bella Lingua
- fare la gotta morta – Italians don’t “play dumb”, they “do the dead cat”
- fare il contropelo – Italians don’t “scold” somebody, they “shave against the growth”
- tirare la corda – Italians don’t “take things too far”, they “pull the rope”
- avere l’argento vivo addosso – Italians aren’t “fidgety”, they “have live silver (quicksilver, mercury) on themselves”
- rimanerci di stucco – Italians aren’t “dumbfounded”, they “remain as stucco”
- fuori come un balcone – Italians are not “out of their mind”, they are “outside like a balcony”